Chesterton Tribune



Burns Harbor TIF board approves up to $200k for Fire Department addition

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The Burns Harbor Redevelopment Commission set aside funds to help smooth the Town’s transition to a new ambulance contract at its meeting Wednesday night

In light of the unexpected cost of changing the Town’s contract for ambulance service, RDC President Kevin Tracy asked that the Commission put the Haglund Trail and the environmental study for the Marquette Greenway on hold temporarily so it can offer up to $200,000 for the Fire Department to make improvements to living quarters for its EMTs, paramedics, and, hopefully, new ambulance staff from Porter Regional Hospital.

The Town is hoping to form a contract with Porter Regional and have their staff stay in Town, but more space would be required to house them, as well as repairs to the existing roof. The need for a new contract comes after Superior Ambulance requested a drastic change in its contract with the Town on short notice. Housing the staff in Town was the reason emergency response times stayed low under Superior, according to Fire Chief Bill Arney.

The Commission approved the funds, and Rongers said, based on a quick assessment, it appears the Commission would still be able to fund the environmental study and provide the $200,000 in additional funds to BHFD.

Four-Acre Site

Jeff Oltmanns of Global Engineering gave an update on the designs for more amenities at Food Truck Square. First off, he said he’s been focusing on getting approval to start paving on the parking lot, which falls within an easement owned by BP. He also reported Global has images prepared to share with the Town and is working on a 3-D model of how it might look. “We’re just trying to get spatially organized to make sure everything is looking good and meeting what your needs are for the site.”

Public Comment

Resident Sarah Oudman suggested that the RDC start promoting local businesses on social media and on the Town’s website, citing the fact that other RDCs often do, and some smaller businesses in Town could use the help. She also asked if a name has been thought of for the site of Food Truck Square, which the Commission simply refers to as the Four-acre site for the purposes of talking development.

“It has no connection to people if you call it the four-acre site,” Oudman said. Tracy agreed and said the Commission would start giving more thought to the name. Commission member Eric Hull said he would like to see a contest where residents or kids are invited to submit names for it.

Other Business

The RDC has a vacancy now that Marcus Rogala has moved on, and the Town Council is looking to fill it with a citizen appointment. The application for board and commission seats can be found on the municipal website.

Clerk-Treasurer Jane Jordan asked the Commission if it would like to renew its annual membership in the Indiana Redevelopment Association for $125. Tracy asked what benefits come with the membership, and Jordan responded that she wasn’t sure, as Rogala attended a couple of the organization’s events, but she just pays the invoices. Commission member Brad Enslen noted that if they offer any help with advertising, statewide publicity could make the dues worthwhile. Jordan said she would find out more information and report back.




Posted 7/13/2018




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